- Written by Chris Groppi
- Published on 24 February 2011
I was a bit concerned about such a large loudspeaker in my modestly sized listening room (16' x 21' x 8'). This turned out to be an issue I struggled with throughout the entire review period. Initially, the sound was characterized by a seriously over-prominent mid-bass. The speakers were exciting room modes in the 100-200 Hz region. I moved my listening position two feet further back (to ten feet). This helped tame the excitation of the room modes, but did not completely solve the problem. I tried moving the speakers around a bit, but the room setup did not allow complete freedom in positioning. I think these speakers would work just fine in the mid-bass if you have a large room. Speakers of this size are not made for small rooms like mine, and the mid-bass is where the issue usually shows up.
Putting aside this room-size-caused-artifact, the performance of the Tigris was stellar. The tall speaker, with high mounted midrange and tweeter resulted in a very tall and expansive soundstage. This gave me some of the most realistically sized images I've heard in my room, with vocals sounding about the height of a standing person. The soundstage width did not give up much to my excellent Gallos, a great feat for a speaker with such a large cabinet. The soundstage plane was typically at or behind the location of the speakers, which added to the great amount of space created by the Tigris.
The bass extension on the low side of the mid-bass issue was excellent, offering very good weight and impact with extension to the lowest frequencies. The bass power was superior to my Gallos, with eye blinking transients. Extension on electronic music, like Orbital's In Sides or Daft Punk's Human After All, the bass extension and weight shook the inside of my stomach, as it should. The midrange had great smoothness and detail, with great extension provided by the pod-mounted tweeter. The introductory portion of Gomez' Revolutionary Kind was probably the best I've heard, with great accuracy and realism to the drums, vocals, and acoustic guitar. Once the bass line came in, the mid-bass issue was apparent, but again, that is a problem caused by my small room. On Beth Orton's Best Bit, the production on the vocals was clearly audible, making the detail offered by the Tigris a double-edged sword.
On all tracks, the dynamics presented by the speakers was exceptional. Not only were big transients delivered with shocking impact, the small scale dynamics that preserve the live quality of the music were there in spades. I haven't heard that level of excitement in my listening room since I listened to the super high sensitivity Zu Druids. This is another feature I wouldn't have expected in such a large speaker. Many big speakers struggle with dynamics without colossal amplification behind them.
What I heard from the Titan Tigris says that if you have a large room where the prodigious bass capability of these speakers can do their job, they will be certainly compete with the best $10k-$20k speakers. If you don't have a big room, I would suggest caution. They might work for you, depending on how much furniture you have in there. If for example, you have a devoted music listening room, with just one or two chairs, wall and corner treatments, they could be terrific. Of course, this applies to any large speaker. On the other hand, if you are using the speakers in a home theater system, with just about any modern receiver, the built-in EQ, such as Audyssey, can flatten the response so that you don't have that extra mid-bass.